Day 261: Joan of Arc – A Portable Model of…

16 Nov

The Hands

All Chicagoans who consider themselves fans of local music are familiar with The Kinsella brothers. Gods of the Chi-Town music scene, these guys have played in more bands than I can bother keeping track of. Their only product that I’ve listened to for The Swole so far has been American Football’s self-titled LP, which I found a little disappointing. It doesn’t live up to the amateurish insanity that I love in the music of Cap’n Jazz, the brothers’ first band. I’ve left their music alone since.

When the first track of Tim Kinsella’s post-Cap’n-project started up, I immediately began to worry. With a soft and laid-back sound much closer to American Football than I was comfortable with, “I Love a Woman (Who Loves Me)” made me think that this was going to be my sixth post all over again.

Then “The Hands” came on, and I can’t begin to describe the grin that spread across my face. With a rough and obnoxious sound, this really could be Cap’n Jazz with some synths in place of guitars. That may sound like musical hell to fans of structure and order within their music, but it made me feel right at home.

While Portable still maintains that awesome thrown-together sound that I’ve grown to love, it’s clear that Tim Kinsella had matured a bit with his music by the time this record was released. It’s still angsty, but not too angsty. The lyrics are more abstract, if that’s even possible, than most of Analphabetapolothology. It’s good as hell, though, and makes me feel a little dumb for ignoring the Kinsellas for all this time.

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